We all can attest to the fact a healthy financial mindset and discipline isn’t a natural mental state for everybody. Add to that the guilt and shame that some of us carry when it comes to finances, and we have a recipe for money management misery. The good news is, just like all other habits, we all have the chance to instil a healthy mindset. Here are some relatively simple steps I used to assist me move from negative feelings and lack of discipline to a positive money mindset and great habits
Anticipating our Nature
Part of a healthy financial mindset involves knowing ourselves and being honest about who we are. We are all impulsive, emotional, messy human beings and often do things we aren’t proud of. However, it’s important to acknowledge and accept these mistakes we made in the past, make our apologies to ourselves and those around us, where necessary and focus on moving forward. All we need to succeed is the intention and the discipline to keep at it. Avoid environments that trigger our bad behaviours and surround ourselves with those who help us maintain the discipline we need.
In this age of social media, reality TV, and celebrity magazines, it’s far too easy to get sucked into making comparisons. We compare ourselves to other family members, to our friends, to strangers, to celebrities, and even to fictional characters on TV. We however need to remember that, what we see on social media and TV is just but a fraction of the true picture. Similarly, we all can’t be the same, we running on different lanes in this journey called life. As my friend always reminds me, we are competing with poverty not each other. So all we need to do is create attainable goals for ourselves and compare ourselves to those, celebrate the wins and update our goals as we reach them.
Develop an Abundance Mindset
Most of us operate in a mindset of scarcity. We believe that opportunities are limited and that our good fortune is under threat. We often complain that we have no jobs or we are earning very little however we never take action to make a change. We believe those who have made it were either lucky or entitled. However, with a mindset of abundance we are able to accept these our situations, but know that there are more opportunities waiting if we plan and act effectively. With this attitude, we are able to work towards changing our current situation and plan ahead hence when opportunities come we are prepared. As it was once said, luck is just preparation meeting opportunity.
Staying the course and maintaining our focus on the positive outcomes we are working towards is easy early on in our financial journeys. However, can we maintain that focus in a year? Five years? A lifetime? Figuring out what steps we have to take to keep ourselves motivated and working toward financial prosperity is key for our journeys. Financial freedom is a moving target and requires radical honesty with ourselves and maintaining that motivation is essential. Some people use vision boards or other simple reminders of what they’re working towards. Personally I like breaking my goals into tiny goals which I can track on a daily and weekly basis. Celebrating my small wins often keeps me motivated. Find what keeps you motivated and run with it.
Lastly, have a gratitude attitude. Being thankful for what we currently have and for the future we are building can be really powerful. However, too many of us spend our lives pessimistic and jaded, resenting our current status without taking real action to improve our standing. We forget the far we have come or how much worse our situation can be. Let’s make it a habit to write down one thing every day for which we are grateful for financially and return to our gratitude journal any time we feel overwhelmed or negative about your own finances. Remember true gratitude goes beyond appreciating what we have, to celebrating others’ good fortunes and contributing to a better world through our self-improvement. Our most valuable asset is us, and we should be thankful for the commitment we are making to ourselves and our lives as we begin this journey towards a better financial life.
“The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.”